Col Solare

Winemaker – Darel Allwine

What is your/your family’s story around your winery?
Col Solare is a joint venture between Marchesi Piero Antinori and Ste Michelle and 1995 was the first vintage. I’ve been making wine for them since 2006

2. How long have you been making wine in Washington state?
26 years.

3. What is your favorite part of being a part of the Washington state wine community?
Washington is blessed with a climate and soils that grow exceptional grapes crafting wines that are intense, concentrated, and balanced. The comradery of the Washington wine industry is second to none.

4. What do you think the future holds for Washington state wine? Where are we headed or what trends are you seeing?
I see Washington wine being recognized as the premier wine producing region in the world. With the changing climate, growers and winemakers need to adapt with those changes and continue to produce exceptional wines.

5. What is your favorite wine and food pairing?
Col Solare with braised lamb shanks, garlic mashed potatoes, and asparagus.


Saskia Potter

Grower – Dick Boushey

1. What is your/your family’s story around wine grape growing?
We have been involved with apples, cherries and grapes, (both wine and juice grapes) for many years. Currently we grow only grapes, we have about 300 acres that we grow and sell to 50 different wineries. In addition to that we manage vineyards on Red Mountain.

2. How long have you been growing grapes in Washington state?
I have been growing wine grapes in WA since 1980.

3. What is your favorite part of being a part of the Washington state wine community?
Working with and meeting a diverse interesting group of people, harvesting a beautiful crop and enjoying WA wines.

4. What do you think the future holds for Washington state wine? Where are we headed or what trends are you seeing?
There should be a nice steady growth for a long time to come, we are a relatively young wine growing area that continues to improve every year.

5. What is your favorite wine and food pairing?
Wine compliments almost every food.  I love Merlot and lamb. And Syrah with everything.


Jason Helms, Col Solare

Vineyard Worker – Jason Helms

1. What is your background, how did you come to work at the vineyard?
I graduated from WSU with a degree in Horticulture in 2002. From that time, I’ve worked for Ste Michelle Wine Estates (SMWE) on the vineyard side of the company. I started in Viticulture Research, then moved to the Viticulture Department, and ultimately settled into the Vineyard Operations Department which oversees management of our company vineyards. With my experience in both Viticulture and Operations I currently hold a position where I oversee the luxury SMWE vineyards and work with our grower contracted vineyards from Red Mountain down through Walla Walla.

2. How long have you been working in this capacity?
I’ve held my current position since 2009 but was limited to the Walla Walla AVA. Last year after some restructuring in SMWE I took on the Red Mountain. area along with overseeing our Col Solare Vineyard.

3. What is your favorite part of being a part of the Washington state wine community?
Being on the ground floor of an industry that was relatively small, but ultimately with be recognized as a premier wine growing area.

4. What do you think the future holds for Washington state wine? Where are we headed or what trends are you seeing?
I think we will be recognized as a premier wine growing area. Currently we are facing some challenges in the industry, but I feel that we will come out stronger and find our identity on the international level and position ourselves well for the future.

5. What fact can you share about your job that wine-drinkers might not know?
The time it takes for a planted grape vine to produce a crop that ends up in a bottle of wine. It usually takes three years for the vine to mature and grow to be able to produce a crop that takes another two years to produce the bottle of wine. It makes forecasting and sourcing fruit difficult looking out five years.

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